Advertisement

 Robert Hooke

Advertisement

Robert Hooke Famous memorial

Birth
Freshwater, Isle of Wight Unitary Authority, Isle of Wight, England
Death
3 Mar 1703 (aged 67)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial
Bishopsgate, City of London, Greater London, England
Memorial ID
10309088 View Source

English Natural Philosopher, Architect, Physicist, and Inventor. Regarded by many as the Father of Modern Science in England and English Microscopy, he discovered the law of elasticity, now known as Hooke's Law. He was born on July 28, 1635 at Freshwater, on the Isle of Wight, England the youngest of four children. His father was an Anglican priest and curate of Freshwater's Church of All Saints and head of a local school. He contracted smallpox as a young child which left him disfigured and scarred for the rest of his life. He received his education partly at home by his father due to his frail health. Growing up, he became intrigued by drawing and mechanical works. When his father died in 1648, he received a moderate inheritance that enabled him to buy an apprenticeship. A staunch supporter of the monarchy, he travelled to London, England, studying briefly with artist Sir Peter Lely, and soon entered Westminster School where he mastered Euclid's "Elements" as well as Latin and Greek. In 1653 he obtained a chorister's position at Christ Church in Oxford, England. He became friends with the English natural philosopher Robert Boyle, of Boyle's Law fame, working as his assistant from about 1655 to 1662 where he constructed, operated, and demonstrated Boyle's "machine Boyelana" or air pump. During this time he attended Oxford University where he became good friends with the future English architect Sir Christopher Wren. In 1660 he discovered the law of elasticity (i.e., Hooke's Law), a linear variation of tension with extension in an elastic spring. He employed his theory in the development of the balance spring (or hairspring) in a watch, which kept time with reasonable accuracy. In November 1662 he was appointed Curator of Experiments for the newly formed Royal Society, a position he held until his death. While this position kept him apprised on science in England and the world, it also led to heated debates with other Royal Society scientists, particularly with Sir Isaac Newton. After graduating from Oxford with a Masters Degree in 1663, he began to expand his knowledge in other areas of science, including astronomy, paleontology, and weather. On March 20, 1664 he became Professor of Geometry at Gresham College in London and Cutlerian Lecturer in Mechanics. In November 1664 he published his first major work, "Micrographia," which provided illustrated and detailed drawings of his observations using his microscope. His observations of cork led to the coining of the word "cell" to describe the tiniest components of living plant material. In early September 1666, a fire of historic proportion destroyed a significant portion of London and he was appointed as one of the surveyors under Christopher Wren to oversee the repairs and reconstruction of the city. He designed many of the new buildings, including Saint Paul's Cathedral, contributing directly to their improved architecture and increased functionality. Other buildings and structures that he helped design include London's Monument to the fire, Bethlem Royal Hospital, The Royal College of Physicians, and the Royal Greenwich Observatory. In November 1679 he began a written correspondence with Isaac Newton that ultimately led to a dispute over their theories on planetary motion and the inverse square law of gravity. When Newton wrote the first edition of his "Principia" in 1686 and sent it to Edmond Halley for publication, he made no mention of Hooke's contributions to these theories but did make some amends in his second edition. In December 1691 he received a "Doctor of Physic" degree. After his death in London on March 3, 1703 at the age of 67, many of his writings and collections, as well as his only known portrait were lost or dispersed without any record as to what happened to them. Because of their bitter rivalry, there is some speculation that Newton, after he became President of the Royal Society in 1703, was directly behind the disappearance of Hooke's possessions.

English Natural Philosopher, Architect, Physicist, and Inventor. Regarded by many as the Father of Modern Science in England and English Microscopy, he discovered the law of elasticity, now known as Hooke's Law. He was born on July 28, 1635 at Freshwater, on the Isle of Wight, England the youngest of four children. His father was an Anglican priest and curate of Freshwater's Church of All Saints and head of a local school. He contracted smallpox as a young child which left him disfigured and scarred for the rest of his life. He received his education partly at home by his father due to his frail health. Growing up, he became intrigued by drawing and mechanical works. When his father died in 1648, he received a moderate inheritance that enabled him to buy an apprenticeship. A staunch supporter of the monarchy, he travelled to London, England, studying briefly with artist Sir Peter Lely, and soon entered Westminster School where he mastered Euclid's "Elements" as well as Latin and Greek. In 1653 he obtained a chorister's position at Christ Church in Oxford, England. He became friends with the English natural philosopher Robert Boyle, of Boyle's Law fame, working as his assistant from about 1655 to 1662 where he constructed, operated, and demonstrated Boyle's "machine Boyelana" or air pump. During this time he attended Oxford University where he became good friends with the future English architect Sir Christopher Wren. In 1660 he discovered the law of elasticity (i.e., Hooke's Law), a linear variation of tension with extension in an elastic spring. He employed his theory in the development of the balance spring (or hairspring) in a watch, which kept time with reasonable accuracy. In November 1662 he was appointed Curator of Experiments for the newly formed Royal Society, a position he held until his death. While this position kept him apprised on science in England and the world, it also led to heated debates with other Royal Society scientists, particularly with Sir Isaac Newton. After graduating from Oxford with a Masters Degree in 1663, he began to expand his knowledge in other areas of science, including astronomy, paleontology, and weather. On March 20, 1664 he became Professor of Geometry at Gresham College in London and Cutlerian Lecturer in Mechanics. In November 1664 he published his first major work, "Micrographia," which provided illustrated and detailed drawings of his observations using his microscope. His observations of cork led to the coining of the word "cell" to describe the tiniest components of living plant material. In early September 1666, a fire of historic proportion destroyed a significant portion of London and he was appointed as one of the surveyors under Christopher Wren to oversee the repairs and reconstruction of the city. He designed many of the new buildings, including Saint Paul's Cathedral, contributing directly to their improved architecture and increased functionality. Other buildings and structures that he helped design include London's Monument to the fire, Bethlem Royal Hospital, The Royal College of Physicians, and the Royal Greenwich Observatory. In November 1679 he began a written correspondence with Isaac Newton that ultimately led to a dispute over their theories on planetary motion and the inverse square law of gravity. When Newton wrote the first edition of his "Principia" in 1686 and sent it to Edmond Halley for publication, he made no mention of Hooke's contributions to these theories but did make some amends in his second edition. In December 1691 he received a "Doctor of Physic" degree. After his death in London on March 3, 1703 at the age of 67, many of his writings and collections, as well as his only known portrait were lost or dispersed without any record as to what happened to them. Because of their bitter rivalry, there is some speculation that Newton, after he became President of the Royal Society in 1703, was directly behind the disappearance of Hooke's possessions.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Robert Hooke?

Current rating:

21 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mark McManus
  • Added: 12 Jan 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 10309088
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10309088/robert-hooke: accessed ), memorial page for Robert Hooke (28 Jul 1635–3 Mar 1703), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10309088, citing St Helen’s Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate, City of London, Greater London, England; Maintained by Find a Grave .